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Stopping A Rat-Hole: The Charleston Harbor Stone Fleets, 1861 & 1862.

Author(s): James D. Spirek

Year: 2015

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In late 1861 and early 1862 Union naval blockading forces sank a total of twenty-nine whaling and merchant vessels laden with stones at the entrances to the two main channels at Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.  The navy intended for these underwater obstructions to prevent the passage of Confederate blockade runners from entering and exiting the port city.  The two stone fleets did not result in the desired effect wished for by Union strategists, but the historical and archaeological record suggests they altered subsequent naval movement on the coastal battlefield.  This paper will present a historical sketch of the purchasing, outfitting, and sinking of the two stone fleets and the archaeological consequences of these obstructions on the Charleston Harbor Naval Battlefield.

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Stopping A Rat-Hole: The Charleston Harbor Stone Fleets, 1861 & 1862.. James D. Spirek. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433947)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 129

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America